I locked my dog out of the house ...

Last night Clayton and I went out for pizza (hello carbs!), and on our way to Papa John's (name drop!) we drove past one of the most festively decorated houses in town.  You could see its light display a good quarter of a mile away, and as we drove closer and closer, I grew more and more excited to see the light show (I've been in Christmas-overdrive this year and absolutely everything delights me.)  However, when we pulled alongside the house to soak in the holiday cheer, I was dismayed.

The yard's light displayed was centered around a Nativity scene complete with plastic figures of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, and shepherds.  Nice.  Expected.  Historic. But when I got a closer look at the display, I couldn't help but notice a few discrepancies.

Standing next to the manger alongside Mary and Joseph was ... a ginger bread man.

Behind the shepherds was ... a giant ferris wheel and a carousel of dancing snowmen.

Beside the ferris wheel was ... a plastic figure of man dressed like he was in the 1920s ice skating.

Next to the ice skating man was ... Santa Claus.

Clayton stopped the car and looked at me.  "I'm not sure that's chronologically accurate".

In other news, Joey and I are not on speaking terms.  I went for a 5-mile run today (distance drop!) and while I was away, Joey decided to make our bathroom trash his supper.  Joey has a disgusting habit of eating garbage on a regular basis, so I've taken great pains to ensure that the bathroom door is shut every time I leave the house.  Today was no different.  But either the door didn't latch closed or Joey has some sort of super power I'm not yet aware of because when I came home sweaty, tired and ready for a shower, I had to wade through a sea of unraveled tissues from Clayton's snotty cold, used q-tips, and other unmentionables that were used to clean or cork our bodies.

It's really hard to yell at Joey ... like, really hard.  I was so ticked off that he made a mess and ate things that are only going to make his already putrid breath even worse that I screamed, "BAD DOG!" like five thousand times.  I even used his full name, which mean he's really in trouble: "JOSEPH STERLING P******!" (And every time I use his whole name, I recoil because I can't believe I gave my dog a middle name, let alone a stupid one in honor of the first apartment I lived in during college with two girls I don't even speak to anymore. Whenever I say his middle name, Joey looks up at me like, "Really? I feel sorry for your future children. What are their names gonna be? Timmy Cedar Point P****** and Rebecca I-ate-a-Red-Lobster-once P******?")

Anyway, it's really hard to yell at Joey. When he knows he's in trouble, Joey has to ability to take his already dangerously high cuteness level and elevate it even further.  He starts by lowering his whole body to the floor and taking one painfully slow footstep at a time as he makes his way over to his accuser.  His ears go flat against his head, his brown eyes seem to grow even bigger, and the stress of the whole situation freaks him out so much that he stretches his lips back into a smile.  (It's not that typical doggie smile that all dogs do when they're hot and panting, but it's a toothless smile.  My dog SMILES LIKE A PERSON).  Granted, it's the same smile he gives us right before he vomits, but still, it's insanely adorable.  Whenever Joey puts on his pathetic little show, it melts my heart so much that I can never stay mad at him.  In fact, today I burst out laughing, which I'm pretty sure gives him conflicting signals, but I never said I was a good parent.

So, I kind of let bygones be bygones and let the trash-eating thing slide today because I'm pretty sure it makes us even.  I maybe, sorta, definitely locked Joey out of the house on Tuesday night and didn't realize it until Clayton came home from work and Joey ran up to his car shaking from the freezing snow.

Not my proudest moment.

I was picking up the house in anticipation of Clayton's arrival home from work.  It was around 9:00 pm, so it was well past dark. During my five-minute surface cleaning, I noticed that the Christmas wreath hanging on our door was off-center.  I don't trust people not to steal my things, so we have the wreath hanging on the inside of the door instead of on the outside of our apartment.  Well, I opened the door to re-center the hook and that must have been when Joey snuck out.  I didn't notice because I was looking up at the top of the door the entire time I had it open.  So, Joey scampered out, I re-shut the door, and went about my business, not realizing I locked my dog out in a cruel, unforgiving world.

Thank goodness my dog is a pig and knows who feeds him because in the fifteen minutes he was locked out, he didn't stray away from our building (which is a huge deal considering he is a beagle and would typically run away at the first hint of an animal scent).  It kinda makes me sick to think he was sitting out in the snow waiting for me to come back out.  Anyway, Clayton thankfully pulled up and as soon as he opened his door, Joey jumped in the car and started whining.

I had no idea any of this was happening, so when Clayton came through the door I was shocked to see him holding a shivering heap of Joey in his arms.  Clayton just looked at me, eyes huge and bewildered and said, "Mind explaining what happened?"  I had no explanation.  I feel horrible that I let him run out and equally horrible that I didn't even notice.

I laid Joey on the carpet and rubbed his frozen paws until they thawed out a little, thanking God for keeping him near the house for Clayton to find and cursing myself for being so stupid.  Joey tends to get frost bite on his paws REALLY easily and will usually collapse on his back outside and howl until we get him inside and warm.

Joey was well within his right to eat the bathroom trash today.

You know, I might just let him eat the trash tomorrow, too.


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